Lloyd’s Opera House

Written By: nppladmin - May• 18•20
Originally posted to Facebook.com/NorthPlattePL on May 18, 2017.

Warren Lloyd was born in New York state on February 14, 1830. As a boy, he was mesmerized by machinery. He found a career on the railroad and worked for several. But the allure of the “Wild West” was always on his mind. In 1850-1851, his wandering foot led him to Panama and he helped start construction on the Panama canal railroad. The climate and people were not especially to his liking, so he ended up in Chicago working as a fireman and then an engineer for the Illinois Central Railroad. By 1867, he had that strong urge to see the West before it was all tamed and ended up in North Platte Nebraska working for the Union Pacific Railroad. He finally stopped working for the Railroad in 1888.

In North Platte, Warren Lloyd constructed a large skating rink at the corner of Sixth and Pine (now Bailey) Streets. The rink was later converted into an opera house.

Lloyd’s Opera House hosted most of the reigning celebrities of the day and North Platte was treated to performances by the best touring Broadway companies. Because the trip from Omaha to Denver took about 34 hours, North Platte became a convenient half-way stopover. One-night performances were common. The Opera House also hosted dances, balls and local entertainers.

For many early North Platte residents, the memory of Lloyd centered around his exceptionally long beard. It is said that he would comb it as far down as his arms would reach, then pick up the lower length and comb it as one would a horse’s tail. After the combing, the beard was carefully folded and tucked under Mr. Lloyd’s vest and buttoned in.

Lloyd died of pneumonia in April 1904 and was buried beside his wife who had died in the late 1890’s.

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